Havas Media Group has announced the launch of LuxHub, a global luxury consulting practice.
Headquartered in Milan, the network launches with established centers of excellence in London, Paris, New York and Dubai. Further expansion plans include key markets such as Shanghai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow in 2015.
The global lead for the project is Isabelle Harvie-Watt, who came aboard as CEO Havas Media Group Italy in 2011. She spent 14 years at Giorgio Armani, besides five at Versace and Tods Group running global marketing and communications, before joining Havas. At LuxHub, she will take on the role of global CEO.
Dominique Delport, global managing director, Havas Media Group, said, "Offering our clients the ability to connect to the luxury sector in a meaningful way has always been part of our strategy and I am delighted that we are now able to deliver this specialist consulting service to our clients on a global basis.
"The credibility we already have in this area, coupled with strong leadership from Isabelle to drive specialist teams in all the key markets, means we can provide new insights and innovative strategies both for luxury brands and brands who want to interact with the luxury audience."
Harvie-Watt added, "Luxury brands realise that they need to change the way they communicate and start building stronger relationships with their consumers. Digital transformation is no longer an option. Growing online distribution and strong content strategies are the new norm. LuxHub is a great step forward to further closing the gap in language between agencies and luxury clients and the way luxury audiences are evolving.
"In our recent global survey, in-store shopping is still the favored purchasing method for half of luxury shoppers, while 24% shop mainly online. However, statistics show that this move by a quarter of the respondents to shop online is not being matched by the brands with over half (54%) stating that luxury brands should engage more with their consumers in the online experience."
LuxHub will reveal findings from a study on luxury and brands later in January. The project uses data from 1,000 people representing the top 10 per cent of income earners in China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, US, UAE and UK. The findings look at luxury trends across retail, travel, home furnishings, auto, jewelry and art.
The new consulting unit will also work alongside luxury expert teams from the Havas Creative division to incorporate creative and experiential talents with projects in association with BETC Luxe (Paris) and Havas Luxe (New York), informed a Havas Media Group statement.
This article first appeared on campaignme.com.